Auburn uses height to storm

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 20, 2000

past Selma in 6A Regionals


Sports Writer

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Their was a sense of understandable frustration in Selma senior Curtis Williams as he was forced to foul Auburn’s Brett Howell in the closing minute of the Tigers victory over the Saints.

Williams and his teammates had battled back from a 10 point halftime deficit to come within four points of the Tiger lead at one point during the fourth. What was even more amazing, is that they had done it against one of the biggest teams in the state. Auburn has tall starters and a tall bench, with players like B.J. Williams (6-foot-8) and Michael Price (6-6). Selma’s starting center, Chico Cleveland, is just 6-foot-3.

So with the Tigers ahead 55-49, with just 0:27 seconds to play, Williams momentum carried him into the press table and he slapped out at it, knocking a cup of coke into center court and drawing a technical foul to go along with the personal he had just picked up against Howell.

It was his fifth personal so the senior had to watch from the sidelines, head in hands, as the Tigers L.C. Glover canned all four free throws with the Auburn crowd shouting "four must go! four must go!"

In the end it was Auburn’s height advantage that made the difference. B.J Williams consistently got offensive rebounds and consistently scored points, leading the Tigers with 22 on the night.

Selma was led by Johnathan Harris, who had 14.

Auburn will tangle with Jeff Davis at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Valley 71, Sylacauga 64 (Boys 5A)

Valley used a full court press in the last few minutes of the game to grab the lead and beat Sylacauga 71-64.

Sylacauga had run Valley up and down the court earlier to give them a seemingly good lead at 48-37 with just a minute left in the third quarter.

But the Rams used an 8-0 run to close the gap and toward the end of the game Valley Coach George Hancock pulled his whole team back court to challenge every Aggie inbounds pass. The strategy worked to perfection as Valley forced four straight turnovers. A free throw by Maskia McCants gave the Rams their first lead, 59-58, with still two minutes left in the game.

But the Aggies shots didn’t fall and Valley was able to make the free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Mario Dooley grabbed 13 rebounds and had 23 points to lead Valley in both categories. His brother Dante had 17, while James Flournoy also had 17.

Robert Douglass had 21 for Sylacauga.

Valley will play Shelby County Saturday at 2:45 p.m.

Jeff Davis 61, Dothan 38 (Boys 6A)

Dothan was in it at the half, only down 33-25 to Jeff Davis, but by the end of the third quarter the game was over as the Vols opened it up with a 14-0 run right out of the locker room.

The Tigers never led in the game, their only chance coming on a Daniel Dawsey layup, early in the second quarter, to cut JD’s lead to 16-15.

The Vols held all Tiger players to under double digits, with guard Derrick Bracewell coming the closest for Dothan with eight points.

Jeff Davis was led by Derek Colvin with 16, Rico Gray with 12, and Jamal Jackson with 11.

Jeff Davis will play Auburn Saturday for the regional championship at 6:15 p.m..

Shelby County 73, Booker T. Washington 58 (5A Boys)

Chad Lucas and Booker T. Washington held Shelby County in check for three quarters before the Wildcats took over in the fourth and made it look easy, with a 73-58 win.

In truth the Golden Eagles were only down 50-45 at the end of the third, but were out scored by Shelby County in the final period 23-13.

The Wildcats won the game despite being out rebounded by B.T. Washington 49-31.

Bobby Madison shot almost 50 percent from the field and scored 20 points to lead Shelby County. Doug Portis followed with 16.

Lucas had 17 for the Golden Eagles, with Shamond Oliver second with 15.

Shelby County will play Valley at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday.